RugbyWA is incredibly disappointed to hear that yesterday’s meeting between Mr. Andrew Forrest and ARU Chairman Cameron Clyne and directors Brett Robinson and John Eales failed to reach a positive outcome. Particularly given Mr. Forrest’s incredibly generous offer to donate many tens of millions to support community rugby as well as financially underwrite the Western Force.
Further, commitments to RugbyWA Board Member David Vaux on Sunday afternoon by Cameron Clyne, that the ARU would accept the retention of five Australian teams provided Andrew Forrest financially underwrote the Western Force and make a significant contribution to Australian rugby.
RugbyWA Chairman of the Board Tony Howarth says: “It is now clear that the ARU did not attend the meeting in Adelaide with the intention of resolving a mutually acceptable agreement, as said previously by ARU Chairman Cameron Clyne.”
RugbyWA is adamant that if the ARU can afford to refuse approximately $50 million to support grass roots rugby then the decision to cut an Australian franchise cannot logically be based on the ARU’s financial position. Therefore the basis on which the ARU has decided to remove a team needs to be fully explained.
Further, we understand that during the meeting the ARU Directors were adamant that a Senate Inquiry as requested by Senator Linda Reynolds and supported by Federal Sports Minister Greg Hunt, had no place or role to play in Australian Rugby.
RugbyWA strongly supports the call for a Senate Inquiry based on the ARU’s misinformation as to their financial position and their lack of information available for the reasons for removing the Western Force.
Today, RugbyWA has been granted leave to appeal the Australian Rugby Union’s (ARU) decision to cut the Western Force from Super Rugby next year. The decision was made by New South Wales Supreme Court judge David Hammerschlag.